Legislative Session Week Three in Review
DoE's 30-Year Old Computers Crash--Finally Decides to Upgrade
Libertarian Gary Johnson offers ‘whatever I can do’ to help Tulsi Gabbard in New Hampshire amid third party talk around the candidate
BI: … Johnson’s support came the same day that Gabbard responded to an audience question that she would be “receptive to a third party” in front of a room that included many independent and Libertarian voters. She later clarified, “I am not running as a third party candidate.”…
read … Libertarian Gary Johnson offers ‘whatever I can do’ to help Tulsi Gabbard in New Hampshire amid third party talk around the candidate
Uber and Lyft drivers say business has slowed at HNL, believe it's linked to Coronavirus.
KITV: .. As a precaution The U.S has banned commercial flights from China and some businesses on O'ahu are already seeing the effects.
On Sunday some Uber and Lift Drivers claim they waited hours to pick up a single ride from the Daniel K Inoyue International Airport.
Drivers believe worries of the Coronavirus contribute to a dip in traffic. With the number of infections continuing to rise, some Hawaii workers are already wondering how they are going to make up the lost business….
KHON: EMS providing backup screening for coronavirus
KITV: Japanese cruise ship arrives in Honolulu, passengers not allowed to disembark due to coronavirus concerns
read … Uber and Lyft drivers say business has slowed at HNL, believe it's linked to Coronavirus.
Bureaucratic Turf Battle Rages over Pre-K
HPR: … One of the major initiatives of the joint package is Senate Bill 3101 that aims to expand parents’ options for early learning opportunities for children between 3- and 4-years-old. The measure calls for moving the Executive Office of Early Learning, which currently operates Hawaii’s public preschool program within the Department of Education, to the Department of Human Services. It would also rename the office to the “Learning to Grow Agency.”
House Finance Chair Sylvia Luke is one of the backers of the bill. She explains that in order to expand early learning in the state, there must be collaboration with the private sector -- something she says the Department of Education cannot carry out.
“About 20,000 kids every year, 3- and 4-year-olds do not have access to any type of preschools, child care or early education opportunities . . . number one because of finances and number two because it's not available in that area,” she said. “Part of it was really about providing child care and learning opportunities for children so that it helps working families go back to work.”
Luke envisions the early learning initiative as building off existing programs in the Department of Human Services, such as one that verifies early childhood workers meet the education and experience requirements for licensing child care centers.
The bill would establish a state goal of providing access to early learning programs to all 3- to 4-year-old children. In 2018, the National Institute for Early Education Research reported that only about 6% of the state’s three-year-olds and 7% of four-year-olds were enrolled in Hawaii’s public preschools.
Under current state law, the Executive Office of Early Learning is responsible for children from prenatal care to their entry into kindergarten. The proposal would limit the agency's jurisdiction to only 3- and 4-year-olds….
Similar: Report Ties Hawaii Youth Suicide Rate to HSTA Grab for HGEA Positions
read … Early Education To Expand But Lawmakers Grapple With What That Means
All prosecutor candidates but 1 agree with 2-term limit
SA: … Megan Kau, a former deputy prosecutor, was the sole candidate to voice opposition to the Charter amendment. Kau said the federal probe into Kaneshiro deals with issues that occurred within his current two terms. “So this knee-jerk reaction, saying ‘limit the prosecutor’s office to two terms,’ doesn’t make sense because Keith was in his two terms when all this happened.”
Kau said that to run for the post, a licensed attorney must have worked criminal cases in three of the past 10 years. That limits the pool of available candidates on Oahu to about 3,000, she said.
Former Judge and U.S. Attorney Steve Alm said it’s up to voters to decide the question and believes there are merits to both sides. Personally, he said, he supports a two-consecutive-term limit. “It’s really hard to dislodge an incumbent,” he said….
Jan 29, 2020: Honolulu Prosecutor Debate: Only Megan Kau Pledges to Keep Criminal Suspects Locked up
CB: Hawaii Prison Reformers Call For New Approach To Guard Training
read … All prosecutor candidates but 1 agree with 2-term limit
Rapist will Get ‘Time Served’
SA: … She tried to escape several times, but Dorch pulled her hair, slapped her 20 times and punched her twice in the cheek, Spickler said.
Nagisa Dorch translated her husband’s demands, telling the victim to perform oral sex on him, and that if she made him feel good, she could leave, Spickler said.
She protested being raped, telling the wife she was afraid of getting pregnant, Spickler said.
Dorch tried to sodomize her but failed, and the couple laughed about it, Spickler said.
The victim managed to escape at 7:30 p.m. when Nagisa Dorch’s son knocked on the door, Spickler said. Nagisa Dorch helped the victim escape while Darrell Dorch stepped out onto the balcony, Spickler said.
Images from a surveillance video were shown at the preliminary hearing in which the victim appeared visibly shaken, in the elevator frantically pushing the elevator button and looking back out of the elevator.
A Japanese-speaking police officer interviewed her at her room in a different hotel, and she “was sitting on the floor crying,” “trembling, scared and distraught.”
When she had to identify the suspects in a police lineup, she tried to cover her face with a towel and “curled down and started crying,” he said….
Dorch, a Japan resident, has been held at Oahu Community Correctional Center since May, so he will have served 10-1/2 months by his sentencing date and could be released in early May, six weeks or so after sentencing.
His wife, Nagisa Dorch, a Japanese citizen, pleaded guilty Jan. 10 to one count of accomplice to second- degree sexual assault and was sentenced to five years’ probation….
HNN: Charges dropped after video evidence tells a different story of alleged kidnapping, sex assault
read … Time Served
Not All Born in American Samoa Want US Citizenship
AP: Growing up in American Samoa, Filipo Ilaoa’s neighbors were his cousins on a plot of land full of banana and breadfruit trees shared by his extended family and overseen by a chief elected by his relatives.
He worries a federal judge's recent ruling in Utah saying those born in the U.S. territory should be recognized as U.S. citizens could threaten “fa’a Samoa,” the Samoan way of life, which includes cultural traditions like prayer curfews, communal living and a belief that the islands' lands should stay in Samoan family hands.
“Basically, what it comes down to is freedom — the freedom to own communal land,” said Ilaoa, 66, a retired Marine Corps sergeant major now living in Hawaii….
As Explained: American Samoa Citizenship Question Not So Simple
read … Samoa
Hawaii lawmakers explore controversial ‘Stand Your Ground’ laws
HNN: … Many states have enacted "Stand Your Ground" laws, which say, when threatened, a person does not have to retreat from the situation before using deadly force.
State Representative Sean Quinlan's proposal would allow people to defend themselves on their own property or at their business, without fear of criminal prosecution.
“If someone comes onto my property and they have a gun, they want to steal things from me, and maybe harm me, and I end up having to use deadly force to protect myself, I’m going to get arrested,” said Quinlan. “To me, that’s just wrong. That’s totally backwards.” ….
read … Hawaii lawmakers explore controversial ‘Stand Your Ground’ laws
Getting Rid of Old Wind Turbine Blades
IM: … The blades are typically made of glass, fiberglass, and/or carbon composites that have little to no recycling value.
Dismantling wind turbines is becoming increasingly difficult because of the size of the blades that can be longer than a Boeing 747 wing.
A 120-foot fiberglass composite blade can weigh 6 tons. A 200-foot blade can weigh 20 tons. Large offshore wind turbines are on the drawing board with blades weighing 40-60 tons each.
“The blades, one of the most important components in the wind turbines, made with composite, are currently regarded as unrecyclable” according to a 2017 article in Waste Management Magazine.
“With the first wave of early commercial wind turbine installations now approaching their end of life, the problem of blade disposal is just beginning to emerge as a significant factor for the future.”…
NPR ran a story last year. “Ninety percent of a turbine's parts can be recycled or sold, ...but the blades, made of a tough but pliable mix of resin and fiberglass — similar to what spaceship parts are made from — are a different story.”
“Decommissioned blades are also notoriously difficult and expensive to transport. They can be anywhere from 100 to 300 feet long and need to be cut up onsite before getting trucked away on specialized equipment — which costs money — to the landfill.”…
Skeletons in the Closet of the Wind
Wind Energy's Ghosts
read … Getting Rid of Old Wind Turbine Blades
Lawmakers consider expanding Hawaii Promise scholarship to 4 year colleges
KITV: … The state has a '55 by 25' goal to have 55 percent of working-age adult with a college degree by the year 2025.
Right now, the Hawaii Promise scholarship only covers two year community colleges. But now, there's a bill before the legislature that would expand the scholarship to include four year colleges.
That would include Manoa, UH Hilo, and West Oahu.
The expansion would cost the state $17.7 million annually, and would allow 5,000 more Hawaii students to take advantage of the program. …
UH News: ‘Dreams do come true’ What UH students say about Hawai‘i Promise
read … Lawmakers consider expanding Hawaii Promise scholarship to 4 year colleges